Police in Iran’s capital say they will no longer arrest women for failing to observe the Islamic dress code imposed since the 1979 revolution.

The reformist daily Sharq on Thursday quoted Gen Hossein Rahimi, the Tehran police chief, as saying “those who do not observe the Islamic dress code will no longer be taken to detention centres, nor will judicial cases be filed against them”.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency said violators will instead be made to attend classes given by police. It said repeat offenders could still be subject to legal action.

Younger and more liberal-minded Iranian women have long pushed the boundaries of the official dress code, wearing loose headscarves that don’t fully cover their hair and painting their nails, drawing the ire of conservatives.

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